Delay helps Alphand to record

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The Independent Online
Luc Alphand, relaxed after bad weather gave him an unexpected lie-in, became the most successful French downhiller in World Cup history with his country's first Val Gardena win yesterday.

Alphand, who started 17th in a delayed and shortened race, clocked 1min 53.10sec for the seventh downhill win of his World Cup career. Jean-Claude Killy won six. "I saw that France had never won here. I thought it was about time," he said.

Norway's Atle Skaardal was second in 1:53.25 and the Italian Kristian Ghedina delighted the locals by finishing third.

The Austrians, who have dominated the World Cup this season by taking the top four in the opening downhill in Val d'Isere last Sunday and sweeping the leading places in training in France and Italy, failed to make any sort of impression. Their best finisher was Werner Franz, who was seventh, one place ahead of compatriot Fritz Strobl who won in Val d'Isere.